It is believed that collectionism is the first sign of insanity. You will agree that whose spending their time and money to collect conquered peaks instead of buying stamps or cards may seem weird. Especially it may seem weird for the fact that the gathering of this kind of "collection" is often associated with serious life risks, as many climbs may require severe lack of oxygen and cosmic cold. Normally, the two mentioned factors are enough for a normal person to classify it as madness. Although we didn't even mentioned avalanches, rock falls, earthquakes... In addition, at least you can touch stamps and postcards, show them to your friends, exchange and even, resell. And what can be done with a conquered mountain? Nevertheless, every year, tens of thousands of people around the world, again and again, go on mountain expeditions in pursuit of the next showpiece of their collections.
Of course, it is impossible to count all the peaks of the world. It is known they occupy 24% of our planet landmass. What are the features to assemble a peak lists? How many mountain collections are there? Which among them are the most popular? To answer these questions, the Mountain Planet
has conducted a survey among the expert members of the mountainplanet.com
website and summarised the top ten most famous summit collections.
Psychologists usually divide collectors into two types: the so-called "results oriented" and "processes oriented". The ones oriented on results strive, in every case, to reach the final point and are focused on completing series of their collection at any cost. This means that, those collections having less than two dozens of peaks are ideal for the results oriented ones. The process oriented ones, as the name implies, are passionate about the process itself, which captures them completely. These climbers are able to collect peaks of very different and unimaginable collections. Each new instance of the collection brings them happiness. Often it happens that the moment of the climbing process may be more important than conquering the peak. These people simply enjoy their stay in the mountains, enjoy communicating with like-minded people and enjoy their moment with the unspoiled nature and pure mountains.
You will be surprised to know that collection don't exist by themselves, but are classified by type. There are climbers who work not just on peaks of one collection, but also on collecting collections that belong to the same type!!!
How many types of collections are there and which collections are included in each of these types? Well, there are about a dozen of top-level types, and there are hundreds of collections that compose them!!! If we would list them all, you would be reading this article until the next Christmas. But we will not scare you with astronomical numbers and will limit ourselves to the most famous types and collections.
We just presumed to add that the structure of each top-level type is quite complicated and several sub-types may be included in it, each of which can be divided into further several sub-sub-types. The basic level of this structure is the collection itself.
To be clear, we will make you a simple example: one of the most famous collections, The Seven Summits, is included in the Continent High Point Lists subtype, which is part of such top-level type, as the High Points Lists.
We selected only 6 of the dozen top-level types of collections that are more or less familiar for the global Alpine Community. Below, you can see their names and examples belonging to them collections.
- High Point Lists - this type consists of the lists that show highest points in a collection of related geographic areas. One of the most known examples of this collection is the “Seven Summits”;
- Threshold Lists - these lists show all peaks in an area above a certain elevation threshold. For instance, “World 8000-meter Peaks” and “Andes 6000-meter Peaks”;
- Hiking/Climbing Club Lists - lists from this type are the official lists maintained by hiking or climbing clubs, or listed in guidebooks. Often similar to threshold lists, but often not as rigorously constrained. For example, the “Washington Bulger List”;
- Random Other Lists - this type is for other random, miscellaneous lists that do not fit elsewhere.One of the most known examples of this collection is the “Second Seven Summits”;
- Isolation Lists are not one of the most famous collections, but there still are climbers working on their completion. These lists rank peaks by isolation, the distance from a given peak to the nearest higher land or peak. Maybe, the most known examples of this collection is the “World Peaks with 1000 km of Isolation”;
- Prominence Lists compared to the previous one, isn’t the most popular.. These lists rank peaks by prominence, how high they ride above the lowest col connecting the peak to a higher peak. A good example may be the “World Peaks with 4000 meters of Prominence”;
The quantity each collection peaks may vary. Sometimes there may be only two of them (for example, in the “Hemisphere High Points” collection), or five, as in the case of the “Former USSR 7000-meter Peaks” (aka "Snow Leopard" collection). Sometimes, collections include hundreds of peaks, such as the “World Country High Points” (more than 250), or even tens of thousands, as in the case of the “World 600-meter Prominence Peaks” (over 32,000). Selecting the top ten most famous collections was a difficult challenge. Sometimes we relied on mountainplanet.com
members expert opinion, other times we were based on number of people that completed a particular collection, and sometimes we relied on the climbs amount of a certain peak. Perhaps the most appropriate option would come out from approaching a random stranger by asking him to rank the collection list, but we have decided that this may be your homework. We look forward to get your version of the top-ten list, and, in the meanwhile, are offering our own version:
||Number of Peaks
||Peak Ranked #1
||Top-level Type Name
||The Seven Summits
||8 848 m / 29 029 ft
||High Point Lists
||World 8000-meter Peaks
||8 848 m / 29 029 ft
||The Volcanic Seven Summits
||Ojos del Salado
||6 893 m / 22 615 ft
||High Point Lists
||Alpine 4000-meter Peaks
||4 810 m / 15 781 ft
||United States 14,000-foot Peaks
||6 195 m / 20 325 ft
||The Second Seven Summits
||8 611 m / 28 251 ft
||Random Other Lists
||Former USSR 7000-meter Peaks
||Ismoil Somoni Peak
||7 495 m / 24 590 ft
||Europe 4500-meter Peaks
||5 642 m / 18 511 ft
||Africa 4000-meter Peaks
||5 895 m / 19 341 ft
||Andes 6000-meter Peaks
||6 962 m / 22 831 ft
By the way, did you know that on the mountainplanet.com
website you can update your profile with all your completed mountains and routes? According to our members’ feedback, it is one of the most convenient way for their climbing resume maintenance. Moreover, other members can reach you by asking advice while viewing who has completed certain mountains and routes. The Mountain Planet
platform also allows all users of the site to create new routes and share secure information about essential gear, red tape and projected itinerary with the global Alpine Community. Create your climbing resume on mountainplanet.com
and help us to make mountains safer and more accessible for people!